February 15, 2016 – News Releases
|15 Feb 2016|
|President Aquino to meet with potential investors in California|
| (RANCHO MIRAGE, California) President Benigno S. Aquino III will meet with top executives of three big Los Angeles-based companies during his working visit to the city on February 16.President Aquino is set to embark on a working visit to Los Angeles on February 16 to 17 following his participation in the special summit organized by US President Barack Obama with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Sunnylands here.
While in Los Angeles, the President will have a series of business meetings with officials of Walt Disney International, Western Digital Corporation, and AECOM’s Enterprise Growth Solutions.
President Aquino will meet first with Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International, to discuss “the investment policies and the climate in the creative sector, particularly game development and animation”.
“I think the President will also welcome an exchange of ideas how the Philippine government can continue to support and develop the industry,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Jr. said in an interview with Radio-Television Malacañang.
The President will then meet with Stephen Milligan, chief executive officer of Western Digital Corporation.
Ambassador Cuisia said that during their meeting, President Aquino and Milligan will discuss how Western Digital Corporation can expand its operations in the Philippines.
Western Digital is a data storage solutions company. It has a plant in Laguna Technopark with more than 10,000 employees.
“They are quite a large employer in the Philippines. The President will also explore with them the possibility of their setting up shared services in the Philippines,” he said.
President Aquino will also be meeting with Michael Donnelly, Group President of AECOM’s Enterprise Growth Solutions.
“I think the President intends to find out from Mr. Donnelly how the government can help them in expanding the hiring and training of Filipino engineers because they are interested to expand their operations by partnering with private sector clients with respect to infrastructure development,” Cuisia said.
On February 17, President Aquino will meet with members of the Filipino-American community and speak about the Philippines’ achievements under his watch. PND (co)
|President Aquino to confer Order of Sikatuna on Philippine envoy Jose Cuisia, Jr.|
|(RANCHO MIRAGE, California) President Benigno S. Aquino III will confer the Order of Sikatuna, the country’s highest diplomatic honor, on Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Jr. on February 17.
President Aquino will present the award to Ambassador Cuisia during the President’s meeting with the Filipino community in Los Angeles for his contributions in strengthening Philippine-US relations.
Ambassador Cuisia said during an interview with Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) that he is “very humbled” and “very grateful” to receive such recognition from the President.
“I am, of course, very humbled that I will be given that recognition by the President and I am very grateful to him, and also to Secretary Albert del Rosario, for having given me the opportunity to serve the Filipino people,” he said.
Cuisia was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States by President Aquino in 2010 and was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments in 2011.
Ambassador Cuisia formally assumed his post at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC in April 2011. In July that year, he presented his credentials to US President Barack Obama.
Cuisia previously served as governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines and chairman of its Monetary Board, as well as president and CEO of the Philippine Social Security System in the 1980s and 1990s.
Established in 1953, the Order of Sikatuna is an order of diplomatic merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Republic of the Philippines.
The Order of Sikatuna is one of the three senior honors of the Republic, along with the Philippine Legion of Honor and the Order of Lakandula.
President Aquino will be in California from February 15 for the Special Summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama with the leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Sunnylands estate here.
After the summit, President Aquino and the Philippine delegation will proceed to Los Angeles for a working visit. While in Los Angeles, the President will also meet with American businessmen, and interact with the Filipino community. PND (co)
|U.S.- ASEAN Summit to tackle trade, security, climate change|
|(RANCHO MIRAGE, California) Terrorism, maritime security, trade, and climate change will be among the focus of discussions when heads of state of the ASEAN and the United States meet here on February 15 to 16.
President Benigno S. Aquino III will join his fellow Southeast Asian leaders on February 15 (February 16 in Manila) in attending the US-ASEAN Summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama at the Sunnylands, the historic Annenberg estate.
The ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations composed of 10 member countries namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“This summit is a special summit as a follow-up of the elevation of the ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations into a strategic partnership last November,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Jr. said during an interview with Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM).
“It will focus on expanding cooperation and to advance regional peace and security, as well as progress of the ASEAN region. There will be discussions on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the ASEAN Economic Community, and there will be an exchange of ideas on the regional strategic context,” he added.
Ambassador Cuisia said the summit would be an opportunity for ASEAN leaders and the United States “to have candid conversations about issues of mutual concern”.
Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the ASEAN, earlier said the discussions among the regional bloc’s leaders and the US will be “free-flowing” and they may raise any issue of importance to them.
“President Obama is encouraging a free-flow of discussion. Gusto niya interactive so anybody can just raise any topic that he wants or she wants,” Buensuceso said during a separate interview with RTVM.
“However, there are indicative topics na siguro mangingibabaw sa summit na ito. Kasama na riyan ‘yung ating peace and stability in the region, including in the South China Sea,” she added.
Issues on trade and countering violent extremism and terrorism will also be on the agenda during the summit, she said.
The summit participants are also expected to discuss climate change and human trafficking.
At the end of the summit, the leaders will be coming up with a statement, which Ambassador Buensuceso said “will be a declaration of the principles that will govern ASEAN-US relations”.
This is the first time the United States will host a summit with the ASEAN member states.
President Obama has invited the leaders of the 10 member states of the ASEAN to the US for a special gathering during his visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last November.
The upcoming summit aims to “build on deeper partnership that the United States has forged with ASEAN since 2009 and will further advance the administration’s rebalance to Asia and the Pacific”.
The US-ASEAN summit will be divided into two sessions covering the following topics: promoting an innovative, entrepreneurial ASEAN Economic Community; and protecting peace, prosperity, and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following his participation in the US-ASEAN summit, President Aquino will travel to Los Angeles on February 16 for a working visit. He will return to Manila on February 17. PND (co)
|Venue for U.S.-ASEAN Summit in California ‘very symbolic’, says Philippine envoy|
|(RANCHO MIRAGE, California) The choice of Sunnylands as the venue for the historic summit between United States President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders in California is “very symbolic”, a Philippine ambassador said.
President Obama is hosting a summit on February 15 to 16 with leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Sunnylands estate here.
“Napaka-symbolic ‘nung piniling lugar ni President Barack Obama to welcome the leaders of ASEAN,” said Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the ASEAN.
“Sunnylands was the venue of the summit between President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China,” she said during an interview with Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio-Television Malacañang ahead of the US-ASEAN Summit.
In June 2013, President Obama hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for two days of informal meetings at Sunnylands, which is informally referred to as the “Camp David of the West”.
Sunnylands, a historic residence and high-level retreat center for international leaders, has been closed since February 7 in preparation for the upcoming US-ASEAN Summit.
Constructed in the mid-1960s as the winter home of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, Sunnylands has played host to seven US presidents, British royalty and other world leaders.
Buensuceso said this is the first time the US has hosted a summit with the 10 members of the ASEAN — Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“Inihuhudyat nito na halos pareho ang pagtingin ng Amerika sa ASEAN. Ito lang ‘yung unang pagkakataon na may isang presidenteng Amerikana nag-imbita sa mga leaders ng ASEAN,” the ambassador said.
“So on our part, it is an honor because finally the world has come to realize that ASEAN really matters. It has acquired an important role in international relations,” she added.
Accompanied by a lean Philippine delegation, President Benigno S. Aquino III will travel to Palm Springs, California on February 15 to attend the two-day US-ASEAN Summit. PND (co)
|Philippines starts preparations for 2017 ASEAN Summit|
|(RANCHO MIRAGE, California) The Philippines has begun preparations for its hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2017, Philippine Ambassador to the ASEAN Elizabeth Buensuceso has said.
The Philippines will assume its chairmanship of the ASEAN in 2017, coinciding with the 50th founding anniversary of the 10-member grouping.
This is the third time the country is hosting the summit.The Philippines last hosted it in 2007.
“We have been preparing for the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN,” Ambassador Buensuceso said during an interview with Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio-Television Malacañang.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, through Administrative Order No. 48, has ordered the creation of the National Organizing Council that will handle the country’s hosting of the ASEAN next year.
Buensuceso said the Philippine government’s preparations for the gathering of ASEAN heads of state in Manila in 2017 began early last year with a workshop participated in by heads of ASEAN Foreign Service Posts and Department of Foreign Affairs Offices.
During the workshop, Buensuceso said participants discussed proposals for the chairmanship theme, substantive priorities, and commemorative activities for the 50th year of the ASEAN.
The Philippine envoy said that representatives from government agencies and civil society organizations also took part in the workshop.
“Minsan lang in a lifetime magkaroon ng 50th anniversary,” she said. “Right now we have a set of several proposals on how we can celebrate the golden anniversary of ASEAN.”
Buensuceso said they could not yet finalize the themes and the programs as the country is going to have a new president by July. President Aquino will complete his six-year term in June.
“But I think the new administration will appreciate the fact that we are going to present to them well-studied, well-prepared proposals,” she said.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of the ASEAN and a signatory to the ASEAN Charter, which entered into force in December 2008.
Established in August 1967, the ASEAN groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. PND (co)
|President Aquino departs for California for U.S.-ASEAN Summit and working visit|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday left for the United States to join fellow leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a special summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama.
The US-ASEAN Summit, which will be held on February 15 to 16 in Sunnylands, California, will discuss terrorism, maritime security, trade, and climate change, among others.
The summit was proposed by President Obama during the third ASEAN-US Summit held in Kuala Lumpur on November 21 last year.
“Sa araw na ito, pupunta tayo sa Estados Unidos, sa paanyaya ni Pangulong Barack Obama, para lalong payabungin sa nabuong Strategic Partnership sa pagitan ng ASEAN at Amerika,” President Aquino said in a speech delivered before his departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City.
“Malaki nga po ang ambag ng Estados Unidos sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan, estabilidad, at kapayapaan sa ating rehiyon, partikular na sa harap ng usapin ng South China Sea at West Philippine Sea. Kasama ng mga kapatid nating bansa sa ASEAN, kaisa natin ang US sa pagtutulak sa ‘rule of law’ sa ating mga karagatan. Malinaw naman ang ating katwiran: Pantay ang lahat sa harap ng batas. Ang pagkilala sa karapatan ng bawat bansa ang siyang nagsisilbing pundasyon ng mas maaliwalas at mas produktibong pag-uugnayan, na naghahatid naman ng kompiyansa at makabuluhang pagkakataon sa ating panig ng daigdig,” he said.
He noted that this would be the last ASEAN Summit he would be attending as President.
“Ito na rin ang pinakahuling pagkakataon na maibabahagi ko sa kapwa nating mga pinuno ng ASEAN ang paninindigan natin sa prosesong pangkapayapaan, na siya nating ambag sa pagtugon sa isyu ng extremism at kawalan ng estabilidad. Naudlot man ang panukalang Bangsamoro Basic Law sa ating Kongreso, di nagbabago ang ating posisyon ukol sa BBL: Ito pa rin pinakatamang landas tungo sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran para sa Mindanao. Sa ating pagpupulong, ilalatag natin ang mga kongkretong hakbang na ating ipapatupad sa kabila ng pagkabinbin ng BBL,” the President further said.
After attending the US-ASEAN Summit, President Aquino said he will proceed to Los Angeles for a working visit and that he is slated to speak before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC).
“Isa nga sa malaking kumpanyang makakaharap natin ay ang Disney. Ang mensahe nga natin sa lahat ng negosyanteng makakausap natin: Sulit na sulit na ngayong tumaya sa Pilipino; sama-sama nating itulak pa ang malaking pagbabago sa ekonomiya at kalakhang bansa,” he said.
President Aquino said he will also have a chance to meet with the members of the Filipino-American community in Los Angeles.
“Hindi naman natin palalampasin ang pagkakataong makasalamuha ang Filipino community sa Los Angeles. Ididiin nga natin ang lawak ng transpormasyong naganap sa ating bansa dahil na rin sa kanilang pakikiambag, malayo man sila sa Pilipinas. Ipababatid sa kanila: Sa kanila nag-umpisa ang pagbabago, sila rin ang magtutuloy nito,” he said.
President Aquino returns to Manila on February 17. PND (jm)
|Filipinos in California look forward to welcome President Aquino|
|(RANCHO MIRAGE, California) Filipinos here are looking forward to welcoming President Benigno S. Aquino III on the occasion of his participation to the US-ASEAN Summit and working visit to Los Angeles on February 15 to 17.
“Our kababayans are always excited when the President pays a visit,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said during an interview with Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM).
“Our kababayans in the US and I are looking forward to welcoming him once more to the United States. We’d like to wish him a successful visit,” Ambassador Cuisia added.
President Aquino, who is set to arrive here Monday morning (February 15), leads the lean Philippine delegation to a special summit hosted by US President Barack Obama with ASEAN leaders at Sunnylands estate.
(Manila is 16 hours ahead of California.)
Following the summit, President Aquino will visit Los Angeles on February 16, where he will meet with potential investors and speak before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC).
While in Los Angeles, President Aquino will also take the opportunity to meet the members of the Filipino community, to share with them good news from the Philippines.
During the interview ahead of the President’s arrival, Ambassador Cuisia also commended the President for the administration’s outstanding accomplishments over the past years.
“We want to congratulate the President for the outstanding accomplishments of his administration, most importantly the restoration of faith and confidence by the Filipinos in our own country,” Cuisia said.
During a separate interview with RTVM, Veteran publicist Fritz Friedman cited the positive changes in the Philippines, which he said has made notable improvements in terms of economic performance.
“I think President Aquino has done a wonderful job at putting the Philippines on track to become a very important economic player in Asia,” said Friedman, former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Publicity for two divisions at Sony Pictures.
The Philippines, long seen as “sick man of Asia,” is now called “Asia’s Rising Tiger,” “Asia’s Rising Star,” and “Asia’s Bright Spot.”
Another Frilipino, Janice Abrille, who is the director of nursing for Serenity Hospice, cited President Aquino’s leadership and commitment to combat graft and corruption.
“This is I think the most honest Philippines has been since after Marcos regime na less lang ang corruption,” Abrille said during an interview with RTVM.
Abrille, however, acknowledged that much more needs to be done.
“There are so many things that we can still change in the Philippines,” she said, citing in particular the need to improve transport infrastructure and provide quality and affordable health care for Filipinos. PND (co)